Friend, biz babe, warm-hearted, fiesty (in the best possible way), energetic, hilarious, brilliant leader, thoughtful designer and so much more... This week we caught up with South African designer, creator, and serial collaborator Danielle Frylinck, to find out what ingredients she uses in her secret success sauce! Danielle, we would just like to thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with us! We know you’ve been insanely busy working on your upcoming range, launching your brand-new flagship store and of-course fighting Corona at every turn! We must know more!!!
From what we can see your brand-new Flagship store in Parkhurst, Johannesburg looks amazing! The colours are bold, the space is open and collaborative, and the merchandise is next level (and we’re not just saying that ‘cause you stock our shoes - wink wink). Has launching your very own flagship store been everything that you had imagined, and what have some of the challenges been?
Its been everything and more! If I can describe the store in one word, it would be ‘Fun’. While building the store was a crazy journey, opening and having customers visit has been heaps of fun, nothing can compare to the human connection we have when we actually meet our customers.
The biggest challenge; apart from building, finances and all the stresses that come with opening a store was of course the lockdown.
The country went on lockdown 2 weeks before we were meant to launch our store and needless to say we were crushed. We however pivoted into mask making in week 2 of level 5 lockdown and were fortunate enough to cover the costs of our store and salaries. Absolutely nothing was going to stop this flagship store from opening, not even a worldwide pandemic. During lockdown the store turned into a mask factory and we slowly kept building between the madness.
On June 26th, our dream finally came true and we launched.
The Danielle Frylinck brand has worked as an individual brand for so long. How has the new collaborative approach to the business been received by you and the team and has this opened some new business / coffee date doors?
We have always been serial collaborators, so the store has been no different. We have loved working alongside other brands and promoting local design. One of the biggest aspects of our business is being ethical and sustainable, what better way to promote a local lifestyle than will our favourite brands. All the brands that are in our store are like family to me and they get to know the team as well and our family just grows and grows. Our end of year Work Christmas party is going to be a massive one, I can just see it!
It seems Corona is here to stay – for a while longer at least! We have all had some difficult days but what would you say have been the top 3 highlights for the Danielle Frylinck brand?
- Highlight 1
The day my fiancé and I wore masks around the house all day asking each other every so often ‘is it comfortable and can you breathe?” Before launching our masks we tested a few prototypes and we were the original guinea pigs
- Highlight 2
The day Lesego became a full time staff member. We were so busy and we were still growing our brand despite the pandemic and the lockdown. Being able to keep Thabani and Andrews at their salaries without dropping them and hiring Lesego was possibly the biggest highlight. As a business owner and mamma bear to such a tight knit family, the staff were always my biggest concern. Knowing that they are ok during all of this is what keeps me going every day.
- Highlight 3
The day we launched our store during the national lockdown. At all odds, we launched, not knowing if anyone would even come into store for the coming months. We still went for it and have learned how to ‘corona proof’ our business and its taught us that no matter what the circumstances, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
You often talk about your Danielle Frylinck Family ie: the Danielle Frylinck team! Has the pandemic brought you closer together as a unit, especially in a time where you could not be with your own families? And what has been your saving grace during this challenging time?
Definitely! Thabani even went as far as to call me ‘MOM’ one day. We have grown so much closer, during level 5 lockdown especially. While the city was literally shut, we got to see each other and it was such a tough time for us and we were under an incredible amount of pressure. To be able to lean on each other is something I will forever cherish.
You create as a team and enjoy the successes as a team, what have been some of your most memorable moments since you and the fam started out.
Andrews and I have been together for almost 3 years and the two of us have been through so many ups and downs. What I love about our team is the honesty we have with one another, there was a time in the early days where finances were so rough, that Andrews bought us buttons and I had to pay him back the following week. Things get tough and the team just backs me every second of the way! I think some of my favourite moments in our studio is when a great song plays and we land up having a dance party that usually starts with me singing into a fabric roll or something and the whole team dancing and following suite.
Okay so let’s talk fashion – we are in LOVE with your classic coats and fresh colour palette for this season but what can we expect to see for summer?
We are so excited for summer! The look for summer is going to be very soft and feminine with sharp cuts and every day pieces that are easy additions to your current wardrobe. Placing a lot of focus on our roots and our philosophy, which is to create timeless, classic pieces that will last.
There has been a rumour… that sometime soon we’ll be able to attend an ‘Aurora’ workshop and help make out very own garments!!! Did we hear correctly, and can you tell us more please?
It is true! Our store and studio are connected so you can see our incredible tailors in action at all times. We really want everyone to see where their clothing comes from and to play an active role in the process. The workshops will create the opportunity for customers to come into store, choose their own fabrics and learn how to cut their own pieces and watch our tailors sew.
You’ve come such a long way in your career and have grown from strength to strength. A wonderful online local offering, the virtual launch of your Flagship Store and the continued growth of a beautiful team who continues to put so much into the Danielle Frylinck brand! Has the dream finally become a reality and what do you foresee for a future we cannot see =)
It definitely has become a reality! For now we are enjoying the moment and taking it all in. For the near future I want to focus on the team even more, more responsibilities and more growth for each member within the brand. Whats next? Growing the brand and embracing more local brands as well, more workshops and more interactive activations with our friends, followers and shoppers.
And lastly… we’d like to share a quote we found with you…
‘Embrace Uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives, won’t have a title until much later.’’ – Bob Goff.
We’d just like to thank you for your unending support and for being a fellow small business owner shoulder, that we can always cry on!
We’ve loved adding some ‘sole’ to your SAFW runway designs and now our product babies are living side by side in your flagship store! We’ve enjoyed every moment of this crazy journey; Danielle and we look forward to seeing what this particular chapter will be named! =)
To watch the Danielle Frylinck Flagship Virtual Launch Video click here
To watch the Danielle Frylinck Flagship Live Virtual Launch click here
Find Danielle Frylinck Online
Images by Shan Daniels Photography
Issued by: T H R E A D S . M E D I A
Founder | Director
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